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Series Preview 8/26-28: Cardinals at Brewers

MLB: Colorado Rockies at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

With a series sweep over the weekend and eight wins in their last 10 games, the Cardinals are 71-58, a season-high 13 games over .500. And with the Nationals’ sweep of the Cubs, the Cardinals are in first place in the National League Central division by 2 12 games over the Cubs and 4 12 over the Brewers. The Cardinals are in Milwaukee this week for the teams’ final series of the regular season at Miller Park.

Gio Gonzalez and Adam Wainwright will start the series opener. Gonzalez held the Cardinals to one run on three hits in five-inning outing last Tuesday. Opponents have hit just .180 off Gonzalez in his five starts at home in 2019.

Wainwright faced the Brewers in his last start and allowed five runs in his five innings of work; it’s worth noting that four of those runs came in the first inning, three alone on a homer by Mike Moustakas. Wainwright will look to log his third quality start of the month and second of the season against the Brewers.

Tuesday will feature Adrian Houser and Miles Mikolas. Houser held St. Louis to one run in his last start, as he worked into the sixth inning. Over his last three outings, Houser has allowed just three earned runs in 18 13 innings with a 20:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Mikolas has allowed five earned runs in each of his last three starts, a trend he would like to end on Tuesday in Milwaukee. This current Brewers roster is batting just .198 off Mikolas, with Ryan Braun 0-for-11 and Christian Yelich 3-for-14 with four punchouts.

In the finale of the series on Wednesday afternoon, Jordan Lyles and Jack Flaherty will be the pitching matchup. Lyles twirled six hitless innings against the Diamondbacks on Friday, rebounding well after he allowed five runs in four innings the week before. Lyles will make his 23rd start of the season (his sixth with the Brewers) on Wednesday, his most since 2013.

Flaherty has been the leader of this pitching staff since the All-Star break, and the 23-year-old will get another shot to shine in a key spot when he takes on the Brewers. Over his last seven starts, Flaherty has a 0.64 ERA with just three earned runs over 42 13 innings. Flaherty has whiffed 56 in the span and leads the team with 171 strikeouts; his 1.09 WHIP and .210 BAA lead the staff as well.

So, to recap:

Monday, 8/26, 6:05 | Gonzalez vs. Wainwright | ESPN, FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Tuesday, 8/27, 6:40 | Houser vs. Mikolas | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Wednesday, 8/28, 1:10 | Lyles vs. Flaherty | MLB Network, FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Notes from around the league:

  • It’s almost scoreboard-and-division-leader-watching season. Over in the Junior Circuit, four teams have officially been eliminated from contention: the Orioles and Blue Jays in the East, and the Royals and Tigers in the Central. Entering play on Monday, the Mariners are just three games away from elimination. Looking at the National League, the Marlins are one game away, with the Padres and Rockies eight and four games away from elimination, respectively.
  • With three more homers on Sunday night, the Yankees set a new Major League record for long balls by a team in a calendar month. New York has 61 home runs in August and seems on pace to shatter the previous record of 58.
  • The Athletics placed Stephen Piscotty on the injured list with a right ankle sprain. Piscotty missed over a month (6/30 - 8/2) with a sprained right knee. In another transaction, Oakland designated Nick Martini for assignment. (Martini should ring a bell in your mind..)